In the wrestling world, the first weekend in March is known for the Southeast Regional tournament and the five tickets to Hershey each weight class is allotted. 16 battle-tested wrestlers from across the four-county area compete at their highest level for one of those coveted five spots. Downingtown East sent its three-man contingent and fought to the best of their abilities. The challenge proved extremely difficult, and in the end, the Cougars took it on the chin and landed out of the competition. Noah Pagaduan (145, 0-2), Josh Hillestad (132, 1-2), and Connor Huntoon (172, 1-2) fought bravely, but the task was a tall one. Congrats go out to these three, and the rest of the team who nurtured them along the way. Many lessons were learned this year and the question becomes, “What’s Next?” East is a young team with a lot of potential, but they must make a conscious and collective effort to improve before November 2022. They have to create a plan and follow it knowing even more success lies in front of them if they do. The stage is set. Finally, congrats and thanks to our departing seniors and their families for their hard work and leadership. You will be greatly missed! Best of luck to all! INVICTUS
The PIAA post-season officially started for East wrestling this past Saturday at District 1’s West Tournament held at Oxford HS. 15 teams competed for the top 4 places in each weight to qualify for next weekend’s Southeast Regional tournament. It was a long day of wrestling with incredible action and lots of tension. In the end, the Cougar squad stepped up their game and finished with 3 qualifiers and 6 medalists. They finished in 7th place as a team. East gave an elevated performance, besting their results of the league tournament at the same venue just weeks prior. Qualifying for the regional were Josh Hillestad (4th – 132), Noah Pagaduan (4th – 145), and Connor Huntoon (4th – 172). Other Cougars to pick up place-finishes and gain valuable seeding points for next year were Valen Piff (6th – 106), Paxson Warnock (6th – 126), and Ryan Loraw (5th – 152). Congrats go out to all of the East wrestlers for a great weekend of competition! Best of luck to our regional qualifiers who will battle it out next weekend for one of five coveted tickets to the PIAA tournament!
On Monday 2/21, Downingtown East once again held the annual JV Chesmont Championship tournament. Competitors around the league as well as those from Springford, OJR, Garnet Valley, and Souderton were chomping at the bit to reignite this revered competition after a short dormancy in the pandemic. The JV Cougars attacked from all sides as Steven Elinski (132) and Felix Mason (215) brought home 1st place championships! Tommie Grizzanti (189) fought hard for a 2nd place silver, and Scott Zhang (138) wrestled back to claim a 3rd place bronze. Rounding it out were Brandon Pacinelli (145) and Kyler Moles (160) who earned 4th place finishes at their respective weights. Congrats to all of the East wrestlers who competed this day and good luck on your development going forward! As for the Varsity, a season of blood, sweat, and tears has led you to this point. Only you can decide where you will fall this coming Saturday at the District 1 West tournament. It’s time let it fly!
For their last dual meet of the year, the Cougar wrestlers hosted the pesky Falcons of Pottsgrove for some heated competition before the post-season. The Grove arrived with a battered line-up and East took full advantage. Adham Abouraya (285) scored the lone fall for the Cougars, but Noah Pagaduan (145) collected a tech-fall and Valen Piff (106) and Tommie Grizzanti (189) earned hard-fought decisions. Frankie Hydutsky (113), Paxson Warnock (126), Josh Hillestad (132), Liam Knott (138), and Connor Huntoon (172) all won by forfeit. East finishes their regular season with an 11-5 mark, far better than predicted by most accounts. Now, they must prepare for the post-season where the JV troops will face the JV Chesmont Championship tournament and the Varsity will compete at the District 1 West qualifier. Good luck to all!
Once again, Downingtown East took the long turnpike drive out to Bucks County to face the ‘Skins of Neshaminy. The dual was tough and Neshaminy put forth a hard, blue-collar effort that paid dividends. The Cougars fell 23-36 winning 5 of the 13 bouts. Adham Abouraya (285) picked up the lone fall, while Ryan Loraw (160) collected a technical fall. Noah Pagaduan (145) and Connor Huntoon (189) worked for hard-earned decisions, while Paxson Warnock (126) claimed the night’s lone forfeit. The Cougars learned important lessons in physicality and starting strong in matches. Hopefully, they can carry these lessons on as they near the end of the dual meet season. Good luck East!
On Saturday 2/5, the Cougars travelled to Boothwyn and old-school Delaware County to compete in Chichester’s annual tri-meet. East delivered a rebound performance beating Chichester 49-24 and Academy park 50-7. Double winners for the Cougars were Valen Piff (106), Frankie Hydutsky (113), Paxson Warnock (126), Josh Hillestad (132), Liam Knott (138), Noah Pagaduan (145), Ryan Loraw (152), Connor Huntoon (172), and Adhan Abouraya (285). The successful day was much needed and helped the team to rebuild confidence and focus. Congrats to the Cougars and best of luck with the remaining dual meet schedule!
In the final Chesmont National dual of the season, Downingtown East lost to West Chester East 31-33. The previous weekend’s Chesmont tourney left the team without two starters, but in the end, it was the lack of awareness and toughness that did them in. Falls by Noah Pagaduan (145), Brandon Pacinelli (152), Ryan Loraw (160), and Connor Huntoon (172) set a decent pace, but East was unable to focus in the closely contested matches and lost the edge. Josh Hillestad (132) collected a major decision and Paxson Warnock (126) stepped up to beat a senior to round out East’s other victories. Hopefully, there are some lessons learned and the Cougars regroup to lead a final charge for the remaining dual meets.
After much deliberation, and several inches of snow, the Chesmont league held it’s championship tournament on Sunday 1/30 at Oxford HS. The irregular schedule presented some issues, but East wrestling showed up with a complete team and put their hard hats on. After the dust had settled, the Cougars finished in 8th place out of the 12 league teams. They had four wrestlers place in the top 6 of their respective weight classes. Connor Huntoon (172) was the only grappler to make the finals where he finished 2nd. Noah Pagaduan (145) secured 4th place after wrestling 5 times, and Ryan Loraw (152) followed his lead with the same 4th place finish. Valen Piff (106) wrapped it up coming in 6th. The tournament is now in the books and the Cougars must bring a renewed effort this week if they want to finish the last portion of the season strong! It’s time to dig deep!